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The Best of Madrid

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Spain's capital overflows with cultural richness. You can walk in the footsteps of royals by day and do the tapas crawl by night, soaking up all that this grand and yet intimate city has to offer.
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28013 Madrid, Spain
Literally the heart of Madrid, Puerta del Sol was originally and east-facing gate to the city and today serves as a bustling transportation hub, with all roads fanning out from from it like rays of the sun. Look for the kilometre zero (Km. O)...
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Calle Mayor, 2, 28013 Madrid, Spain
What could be more enchanting than sitting over the Puerta de Sol in the heart of Madrid? Why, enjoying the view with a pastry and cafe con leche in hand, of course. Let Mallorquina’s hustle and bustle of the downstairs leave you feeling like a...
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Puerta del Sol, 12, 28013 Madrid, Spain
What is more romantic than an intricate and well-used Spanish fan? Fans are a highly personal item, and like perfume, one should only use the best they can find (or so my mother always said). For the royal minded there is only one choice, Casa de...
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Pasadizo de San Ginés, 5, 28013 Madrid, Spain
Founded in 1894 and set in the center of Madrid, not far from Puerta del Sol, San Ginés is a local favorite and a don’t-miss stop during any visit to the capital. No excuses; it never closes. Pasadizo de San Ginés 5, Madrid, 34/91-365- 6546 This...
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Plaza Mayor, Madrid, Spain
Distinguished by it's grand arcade and beautiful symmetry, Plaza Mayor has been used for everything from bull fight and executions to royal festivities over the years. Today the square is home to 3-story red and white residential buildings that...
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Plaza Mayor, 30, 28012 Madrid, Spain
Bathed in Christmas lights, the Casa Yustas beckons many a window shopper. The men’s hats alone are worth the venture into the store, but the surprises don’t stop there, from every corner a new and beautiful piece of art seems to jump out at you....
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Calle de Toledo, 18, 28005 Madrid, Spain
Alpargatas, or espadrilles, are a staple in every Spaniard's closet. The comfortable, light-weight, and versatile shoe is simple—rope, rubber, cloth. At Casa Hernanz they are handmade and come at a bargain ($5–$10 per pair) in over 40 colors. They...
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Calle del Conde de Miranda, 1, 28005 Madrid, Spain
If you're in Madrid and in the mood for tapas, you might not know exactly where to go or what to taste. The Mercado San Miguel (metro Sol) takes away all that decision-making by providing you with a taste experience all under one roof. The old,...
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Calle Cava Baja, 28005 Madrid, Spain
Just south of Plaza Mayor, Calle Cava Baja is one of the most exciting streets for tapas in Madrid. You'll find one great bar right after another as you make your way down the street. Don't miss the pintxos bar Txakolina at number 26 and the bar...
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Paseo del Prado, s/n, 28014 Madrid, Spain
Madrid's Prado Museum, home to Goya, Velazquez, Murillo, El Greco, and numerous other greats, has so much to see that just one visit isn't enough! If you have a few days in Madrid, drop into the museum in the afternoons (after 5pm) when there is...
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Plaza Jesús, 28014 Madrid, Spain
Located near the Prado Museum, Calle de Jesús is a great area for tapas bar hopping in Madrid. Don't forget that most bars in the city will give you a free tapa when you order a drink (like a bowl of potato chips at La Dolores at number 4 or the...
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Calle Echegaray, 7, 28014 Madrid, Spain
They say Hemingway used to drink at La Venencia. If that’s true, you wouldn’t know it: there are no photos of Don Ernesto on its walls, no placards identifying Papa’s favorite table. La Venencia isn’t the kind of establishment to talk about its...
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Calle de Bailén, s/n, 28071 Madrid, Spain
No trip to Madrid is complete without a tour of the Royal Palace, home to many of the kings and queens of Spain since the 1500s. Inside, every wall, ceiling, and floor either is a work of art, or hosts works of art. One room is made entirely of...
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Calle de Bailén, 10, 28013 Madrid, Spain
After paying your patriotic fee of 10 Euro to enter the Royal Palace, you will notice the Almudena Cathedral beyond the courtyards gates. While I was too late in the day to be graced with the inner divinities of this structure I did in fact, get...
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Paseo República de Cuba, 4, 28009 Madrid, Spain
No matter what the season, it's worthwhile to wander through the exquisite Retiro Park when you're in Madrid. Here you can find a tranquil escape from crowded streets and museums. The unrivaled architecture of Madrid is echoed here in the...
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Calle de Alcalá, 237, 28028 Madrid, Spain
You don't have to condone bullfighting to appreciate the architecture of this 1929 example of neo-Mudejar design in Madrid. Seats nearly 24,000 spectators and is still in use today, most famously for the city's San Isidro festival in May.
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Plaza de Canalejas, 6, 28014 Madrid, Spain
The longstanding Madrid candy shop La Violeta is home to a number of sweets and confectionery take-home gifts for the nostalgic traveler. Most well known are their "violetas," violet flavored purple candies. Expect a line and limited English on...